You will notice that several of the women appear somewhat old to be mothers. Indeed, many are grandmothers or aunts raising babies due to maternal death. With the unaffordable price of infant formula and the unreliability of a clean water supply, these children must start getting adequate nutrition from solid foods at a very early age. Failure to do so is disastrous for normal brain development and vulnerability to disease. Consequently, food staples for the nutrition center is one of our major purchases each year. Easy-to-chew rice balls with ground nut (peanut) soup is in the bowls.
On this day at the Nutrition center, the nutrition assistant (Janet-standing against the tree) will demonstrate how to make “weenamix”, a strained liquid from cooked soy beans and maize that provides good nutrition for infants.
Over the traditional wood fire, the women are cooking koosi cakes (high protein bean-flour cakes). These are considered a local delicacy.